Officials warn about West Nile as suspected infection tested

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A Canyon County man in his 50s has tested positive for West Nile virus, health officials announced on Thursday.

The agency says an adult resident of the town of Mead fell ill on July 27 and was hospitalized the next day.

About one in 150 will develop serious and potentially life-threatening conditions that include encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, or meningitis.

West Nile Virus is spread to humans by animals by the bite of an infected mosquito, once they feed on infected birds, according to public officials.

"I think it's important for us to talk a little bit about it today because it's one of those unusual years where there's not a lot of biting pressure from the so-called nuisance mosquitoes", he said.

Symptoms associated with West Nile virus typically appear 3 to 14 days after infection.

Experts say most people who are infected have no symptoms or experience only mild, flu-like symptoms. According to World Health Organisation, there is one reported case of transplacental (mother-to-child) WNV transmission.

Things like bird baths should be changed at least weekly. For standing water that can not be drained such as fountains, ponds, etc., consider adding "Mosquito Dunks" or mosquito fish, which feed on mosquito larvae.

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. "The small pool of water that collects in a single upturned bottle cap is an incubator for as many as 300 mosquito eggs", said Helwig.

Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.

If weather permits, wear long sleeves, trousers and socks when outdoors. Other repellents containing picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol are also effective against mosquitoes.

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